coalition of immokalee workers (CIW) available to speak in so cal oct 13-20
- pls pass along to all interested parties, and contact bryan payne at
sfw_alliance@... for further information.
“THE EVERYDAY FACE OF GLOBALIZATION: Farmworker Poverty, Fast Food Profits,
The terms "sweatshop" and "slavery" are laden with images of foreign lands
and centuries past. Rarely do we associate such terms with life in the
United States in the 21st century. Yet, for the workers who toil in the
fields of the US day after day to put food on our plates, sweatshops and
slavery are a reality.
Farmworkers are among the poorest, most vulnerable and exploited class of
laborers in the country: no right to organize without fear of retaliation,
no right to overtime pay, sub-poverty wages, no access to benefits, and in
the most extreme cases, modern-day slavery, as seen in the five cases of
slavery in the fields of Florida that have been brought to justice in the
past five years. This reality stems from a combination of the historic
imbalance of power in agricultural labor relations and a fundamental shift
in the global economic system that has taken place over the past few
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based farmworker
organization in Southwest Florida, is challenging this paradigm by making
the links between the exploitation of farmworkers and the profits of the
fast food industry, the fastest growing consumer of the fruits and
vegetables harvested in the fields of the US.
The struggle of these farmworkers, and that of so many others has gained more
public attention due to their recent hunger strikes against fast food giant
Taco Bell, Truth Tours across the country to the Taco Bell headquarters in
Irvine, CA, protests, collaboration with students, activists, unions, and leaders
in the faith community, and tireless dedication to justice and human rights
These public presentations led by members of the CIW will explore the
relationship between farmworker poverty, fast food profits and young consumers, the
target audience of the fast food industry. The speakers will engage the
audience in critical thinking about these issues through interactive theater and
other creative activities.
The work of the CIW to end sweatshops and slavery in the fields has been
widely recognized over the past year, from feature articles in the New
Yorker (April 21-28, 2003) and National Geographic (September 2003) to the
recent Miami Herald series "Fields of Desperation" (Sept. 1-4, 2003).
CIW speakers available for the tour include young, immigrant
* Lucas Benitez, a 27-year old farmworker from Guerrero, Mexico, winner of
various national awards, including the 1999 Brick Award for "America's Best
Young Community Leader", by Rolling Stone Magazine and the Do Something
* Francisca Cortez, a 21-year old farmworker from Oaxaca, Mexico, featured
in the Center for Economic and Social Rights "Human Rights in the USA 2002
fmi please contact bryan payne at sfw_alliance@....
kathryn s. reuter
323 640 6598
i am not a libertador, libertadores do not exist. the people liberate
themselves. --che guevara
[r]esistance against neoliberalism does not only exist in the mountains of
the mexican southeast. in other parts of mexico, in latin america, in the u.s.
and canada, in europe of the treaty of maastricht, in africa, in asia, in
oceania, pockets of resistance multiply. each one of them has its own history, its
own differences, equalities, demands, struggles, and accomplishments. if
humanity still has a hope of survival, of improvement, that hope is in the pockets
filled with the excluded ones, the leftovers, the ones who are disposable. . .
. there are as many shapes as there are resistances, and as many worlds as
there are in the world. so draw the shape you prefer. --subcomandante marcos,
'seven loose pieces of the global jigsaw puzzle,' mexico, 1997 june
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